Wood records first Outlaws feature victory

LAS VEGAS, NV (March 3) -- Danny Wood knew hiring Rob Hart and Cathy Barrows would improve Donnie and Sherry Woodburn's Pepsi racing team this season. He just didn't know how much or how soon. The 2000 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year found...

LAS VEGAS, NV (March 3) -- Danny Wood knew hiring Rob Hart and Cathy Barrows would improve Donnie and Sherry Woodburn's Pepsi racing team this season. He just didn't know how much or how soon. The 2000 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year found out in a hurry Saturday during the Second Preliminary Feature of the Silver State Shootout at Las Vegas Motor Speedway as he won the first feature race of his Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series career. "First of all, I have to thank the good Lord for a safe race and for giving me the chance to take advantage of some breaks," Wood said as tears poured down his face. "We just found something there in the B-main and this car was a rocket ship. There was no stopping this Avenger chassis tonight. "I want to thank my owners Donnie and Sherry Woodburn and Hop-n- Sack Convenience stores, and my crew Rob Hart and Cathy (Barrows). They've given me the chance to do this and I just can't say enough for all of them." Wood was relentless throughout the racing program, overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds. He qualified 17th-quick and raced into the final qualifying position in the First O'Reilly Heat Race, only to finish seventh following a final-lap caution. Wood won the "B" Feature, then drove the #21W Pepsi Avenger past 16 cars to claim the $5,000 first prize in the 30-lap main event. "I'm glad we didn't start out front and have it handed to us," Wood said. "It gave me a chance to prove to the fans who have stuck by me for so long that I actually can race with these guys and deserve to be out here. Rob and Cathy told me all winter long we were going to win this year, and I just found out a couple of weeks ago I'm going to be a grandfather. Maybe that was a little extra motivation. "Rob must know something about this place. (Hart was a crewman with Two Winners Racing when Jeff Swindell raced from the rear to win an "A" Feature in Las Vegas in 1997.) I want to thank everyone here for coming out tonight. This is the best feeling in the world." Wood exchanged first place with defending Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series champion Steve Kinser twice in the final 15 laps and took the checkered flag with 3.4 seconds to spare. Kinser won the Third O'Reilly Heat Race and the CHANNELLOCK Dash for the right to start the Preliminary Feature on the pole. He drove his #11 Quaker State Maxim into the lead as the green flag fell in the evening's main event. Danny Lasoski passed Mark Kinser and Donny Schatz to take over second place before First Preliminary Feature winner Andy Hillenburg spun in turn four late in the third lap. Wood was in eighth place when Dale Blaney spun in the second corner early in lap six. Wood passed Jac Haudenschild, Joey Saldana and Schatz within three laps after the green flag replaced the yellow. Lasoski caught "The King of the Outlaws" early in the 10th lap and passed him for the lead in turn four despite bumping the outside retaining wall. Kinser regained first place several seconds later with an inside move between the first and second corners. Wood raced past fast-qualifier Craig Dollansky and Mark Kinser on successive laps, then passed both "The Dude" and Kinser between turns three and four to take the lead late in the 15th lap. "The King of the Outlaws" won a front-straightaway drag race to pass Wood for first place one lap later. Wood regained the lead with an inside move into the second corner early in lap 18. Lasoski followed Wood past Kinser, only to have "The King" come back with an identical move to take over the runner-up spot two laps later. Mark Kinser passed Lasoski deep in the second corner, but "The Dude" steered the #20L JD Byrider Eagle into the low groove between turns three and four to claim third place late in the 22nd lap. Wood entered lapped traffic with a 2.9-second advantage with four laps remaining and was 3.4 seconds ahead when the checkered flag fell. Dollansky finished fifth, ahead of Haudenschild, Saldana, Schatz, Randy Hannagan and Brooke Tatnell. Dollansky paced the 44-car qualifying session with a 117.990- m.p.h. lap around Las Vegas Motor Speedway's semi-banked, 1/2-mile clay oval.

- WoO

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Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Andy Hillenburg , Mark Kinser , Danny Lasoski , Donny Schatz , Steve Kinser , Craig Dollansky , Brooke Tatnell , Joey Saldana , Jac Haudenschild , Jeff Swindell